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Promoting Quality, Accessibility and Affordability in the dietary supplement industry


This SupplementQuality.com (SQ) website is the most publicly visible part of the Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative (DSQI). In addition to our consumer-oriented activities, we are committed to developing comprehensive quality practices and standards for dietary supplements. We believe increased levels of research in combination with widely accepted standards will benefit those who use, prescribe and make dietary supplements. In promoting a science-based understanding of the health benefits associated with supplementation, we believe the quality, safety and availability of dietary supplements can only increase.

As a practical matter, we advocate self-regulation for supplement producers who want to advance the cause of quality on a broad front. While the process for approving pharmaceutical drugs offers one approach to regulation, we think the self-regulatory model used in setting standards and certification for computers and electronics may be more suitable for dietary supplements. As of this writing we cannot foresee the specifics of such an initiative; however, we believe that collegial, democratic organizations representing the broad spectrum of supplement interests are especially well qualified to debate and codify the rules and regulations that will determine broad-based quality standards.

Consumers, practitioners, academics, distributors, producers and suppliers all have a role to play in this important work. In creating broad-based, independent organizations to define, implement and oversee quality standards, all those with a stake in supplementation will be served. In particular we advocate the formation of a national institute with authority to define standards, disseminate protocols, and certify testing procedures. Work that contributes to this goal has already been undertaken by supplementation interests, including practitioners, producers and trade associations. The DSQI works to advance, focus and consolidate successes already achieved while defining and attaining broadened objectives.

We make these observations with the understanding that an open, competitive market is the best long-term insurance against rising prices and limited supply for everyone in the dietary supplement value chain. Open, minimally regulated markets encourage the innovation that leads to the rapid development of new and better products. Currently, the supplementation marketplace is in transition, with more and more participants responding to ever-growing consumer demand. While we maintain a healthy sense of skepticism for claims that do not rest on science, we view new directions in health care as generally constructive.

We also note the rich history and practice of natural healing and folk medicine in American life, calling particular attention to the many sources of healing found in nature. Naturally occurring substances combined with age-old practices define tribal and ethnic approaches to health and wellness we all must take care to preserve and sustain. To deny or, worse, to lose this precious heritage is unthinkable. For those who seek to shape a better future, a healthy respect for historical practices and the environment combined with broadly inclusive self-governance bodes well for the level of quality in supplementation we all deserve.

For those with a professional interest in dietary supplement quality, we urge you to comment on Toward A Quality Model for Dietary Supplements, 1999, DSQI. This brief, 6-point summary of key quality issues is both a call to action and a working plan designed to enhance the use of dietary supplements. Click on contact us to give us your comments today!

About Our Beginnings

The Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative (DSQI) has grown from the work of Cristina Crawford, an internationally recognized software developer with long-standing interests in free markets, life extension and supplementation. In the early 1990s, Ms. Crawford played a role in the successful passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), supporting public affairs programs throughout New England.

In 1998 Ms. Crawford launched the Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative to promote access to affordable, high-quality dietary supplements. The web site you are viewing is a first step in an attempt to understand and share information about supplementation with the public at large.

Your Forum

We invite active, critical participation from everyone with an interest in supplementation. Your willingness to help us refine this web site and develop a body of useful, factual information will in large part determine our success.

The DSQI welcomes sponsors who share our vision and would like to help advance knowledge of and access to supplements. Currently we exist exclusively through the generous support of our patron, Cristina Crawford. Your willingness to lend a hand as a financial contributor, industry or professional sponsor, or information provider will strengthen and enhance our efforts. Please give generously.

It's easy to share your opinions and support . . . just go to our contact page.




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(c) Copyright 1999-2003 Dietary Supplement Quality Initiative. For permission to reprint, please contact our editor.